Fire by hand drill

Fire by hand drill

Thursday 28 June 2012

Hand drill in the Irish woods


Just a clip of me out creating a hand drill set from scratch in the woods.

I think a good way to develop your personal skills is to give yourself little challenges.

I usually harvest my hand drill spindle green and then dry them out artifically in the hot-press, same with the hearths. But why not try it from scratch in the woods and see if I can get fire? So i did.

The drill is Elder and the hearth is Goat Willow I had to try and discard 3 or 4 drills before i found one that would work. The secret is findign a second year shoot which is straight, thick enough, dead and dry. It cannot be decayed at all which is a problem with Elder. Finding a good drill is the hardest part. I used a peice of crampball fungus in the tinder bundle to boost the ember and give me more heat to get rid of any damp in the tinder.

I hope you enjoy.

My first good knife


I was reading a very interesting post on Paul Kirtley's blog yesterday where he talks about the value of a locking knife for survival. Paul Kirtley's Blog .

The article was excellent as is usual for Paul but what caught my nostalgic nerve was his talk of the knives he used when he was first starting out.

I have mentioned my Rambo type survival knife which I got for christmas when I was a boy. I used to run about with it strapped to my leg 24-7. It was obviously a very cheap peice of steel but I loved it.
The funny thing is that if you are un aware that better knives exist it dosnt bother you and you get on with making huts, skinning rabbits and lighting fires.

However, one year for a holiday our travelled to the Isle of Man. In a small fishing shop there was a glass counter full of the most fancy looking knives. I took a shine to a nice shiny stacked leather handled sheffield steel knife. I remember it was £6.99 which in 1986 was a lot more than it is now. I convinced my dad that i needed it and he let me spend my holiday savings on it. I then proceeded to cut the tip of my finger off with it.  Here is is.

This knife has been lost and found so many times I lost count. It has hacked, chopped and sliced through everything, dug holes, poked fires, killed enemy indians, killed enemy cowboys, been used as a throwing knife, a spear tip, an ember pan, gut rabits, fish, pigeons and bigger. I learned to sharpen knives on it and slept with it under my pillow for a while. Itwas the envy of my friends at the time. A great little knife indeed.

I sometimes think it would be nice to find a picture of myself with it on my belt but sometimes it is better to just remember things.


Tuesday 26 June 2012

Mora 120 sheath

I made this last night. I really enjoyed making it.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Leather craft

I am lucky to have been on the receiving end of a nice hand stictching kit. Here are a few pictures. Let the leather working begin._...........

Canoeing Practise for upcoming trip.

Monday 18 June 2012


I do love a nice featherstick and they are good for getting the faimily BBQ going too!
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Saturday 16 June 2012

Tiny figure of 4 trap

I saw a tiny trap on kepis bushcraft blog. It was made from match sticks. I thought i would have a go myself and here is the result. It was quite difficult to get the set to work due to the size. I think this might be smaller than the kepis trap, but i am not trying to win some competition just having fun.

Have a go!

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Survival necklace

I am not one for survival kits myself. However i di belive that a few items can make a huge difference.

Here is an interesting concept.

good site

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Bushcraft Finland Forum


I was directed to this brilliant list of tests by my Finnish friend Mikko. The reward for completeing the various tasks is a badge.

It can be found on the excellent Bushcraft Finland forum Here

BcFin badge ( the right to buy and wear basic embroided patch)

-Accepted as a member
-Good posts on forum, that are usefult o others as well. You should have tentsh of these, or somewhere around 100, but its up to moderators/other members, to decide otherways.
-Accepted for "contributing members area"
-Participated at least one Bcfin Meeting/live-course/gathering. ( so youre known as a real person,not just anonymous nickname)


Vaeltaja patch ( wanderer)

-Orienting, in daylight, 3 checkpoints, 1500 meters, with map and compass.
-Orienting in dark hours, 3 checkpoints, 1500 meters, map and compass.
-Orienting, 5 checkpoints,map and compass.
-Orienting, with map, no compass.

-Winter trip, on ski´s. 30 kilometers, atleast one over night in the woods.
-Fall trip, 20 kilometers, atleast 1 night in the woods.
-Summer trip, atleast 20 kilometers, atleast 1 night in the woods.
-Night in the woods, with just a knife, and pocket sized survival tin/kit, thats already, reviewed in forum.

+ atleast 6 nights in the woods, in selfmade/portable simple shelters ( no modern tents). These are slept in true forest/wilderness, NOT in commercial camping grounds,NOT in road sides, NOT in man-made places.


Water patch

- By using normal bushcrafters hiking gear, fabricate a transportation vessel, and transport your gear & yourself over some pond,stream,lake etc. No fancy rubberboats or similar stuff are allowed.
-Show that you can row, swim, paddle
-DO a raft, and use it on water for atleast 15 minutes without wetting your back.


Camp patch

-In wilderness conditions, make:
-A campfire suitable for drying clothes, cooking and warming yourself up.
-Laavu a.k.a lean-to (use finnish words to avoid misunderstandings,so laavu wont tunr in to ti-pi like lavvu shelter )
-Kota sheter, and sleep in it in summer, and make another, and sleep over night in it in winter (snow and sub-zero temps)
-temporary shelter from "erätoveri" or very similarly shaped tarp,and sleep in it over night, with a wool blanket, NO sleeping bags or similar are allowed.

-emergency shelter and sleep over night in it WITH JUST knife, matches and firesteel, flint & steel,NO lighters of any type. Make the shelter in 30 minutesm as in real emergency youll have to make it quick too.
-Camp toilet, that doesnt smell, reek after you leave the camp.
-Camp sauna,so called tent sauna, and bath in it. Beer allowed.


Firemakers patch

Do fire:
-from fresh pine/spruce tree with matches,
-from fresh ash / birch type of leaf-tree, with matches
-From fresh birch with matches, WITHOUT using bark and branches. In a word, from general, average piece of birch trunk.

- "oivitiilu-nuotio", the camp fire, made from frozen fresh small birch tree (often seen in lapland books), do this in atleast -15c minus temperature ! use of bark allowed,but no use of any excess paper, use only the birch material from same birches that you use for the actual fire.

-Flame with;

-firesteel, knife,natural tinder ,grass,leaves,fungi, etc..fresh stuff, not something prepared at home.
-Flint striker (karkku), flintdtone,quarts stone,"taula" ( tinder made from horse shoe fungus), and other natural tinder
-fire scraper ( stone with groove in it, and you strike hardened high carbon steel rod in the groove),horse shoe fungi tinder, natural tinder
-bowdrill or other friction based fire, with dry, pre made natural stuff, dry wood and tinder
-same as above but with un-prepared stuff picked up in the woods,not prepared at home.
-other alternative fire making technicues, like battery & steel wool, magnifying lense etc.

-make working "taula" ( horse shoe fungus tinder) in the forest conditions.

-Know, what is, how works and how is made:

-rakovalkea (gap / longfire)
-raappanan tuli ( fire of raappana,not swedish candle/torch :)........)
-Nailfire ( kynsituli )
-and those.


Natures edibles patch

-food gathering;

-gather and treat 1 liter of water from wilderness in every season (summer,fall, winter,spring)
-water spring, rain water, snow, distilling etc
-makeshift filtration gadgets
-water transportation with natural materials

-prepare fishing gear from natural materials ( from the nature, that is ) and get atleast one fish, that youll eat either raw or roast it on fire.
-make smoked dry-meat with smoke-hut or similar smoking gadget, from natural material, use of iron wire is allowed,though.
-make food from wild plants, in the forest,and eat it. Atleast 4 different plants. (use of mess tin / pakki, pan is allowed)
-gather bugs, snails,worms,bird eggs, reptiles, etc, and make food out of em, and eat it, in the wild. Use traditional cooking gear ( pakki / pan type of simple campfire pots)
-gather and prepare food from mushrooms, atleast 10 species, cook in the forest, with traditional cooking pots/pans.
-make tea from atleast 5 plants,and drink it. Traditional cooking pots and in the wild,offcourse.
-gather sap, atleast 0.5 liters and use it, drink it or use in other cooking way. Plastic bottle allowed.
-Make oat meal, with starch picked from the forest, and berries. Mess tin etc, traditional pots and on the campfire.
-make grave-roast. ( cook under ground )
-boil water with stones.
-cook, boil food with moss.
-cook fish with fire´s glare.
-make smoked fish in the forest, without manmade smoking box etc.
-make PETTULEIPÄ, the bark bread, with 50% of it, rest can be gound rye. Make it from star to finish in the forest,with traditional pots/pans,on fire.

Generally, dont use any manmade stoves, and cook in forest ,NOT AT HOME / INSIDE.


Hunters patch

-you must have legal permit to hunt and carry legal hunting weapon.
-hunt legally, get a catch.
-prepare and cook your catch, use meat, liver etc, and grease. ( you CAN do this at home,inside)
-gather handcraft material from the catch, bone, etc.


-bow, capable for hunting. Also ,make the arrow and string from natural materials. Yes,string too..
-Atl Atl from natural materials.
-spear from natural materials.
-At least 6 working different traps, you can use snare wire too. DONT USE THESE unless you get a special permit/right to do so.

-tracking of game and finding out their hiding places.

Handcrafters patch

Everything done WITHOUT electical tools, but you ARE ALLOWED to drill the hole, for knifes tang, in the handle-wood.

-Vitsas ( a wooden wrapped, simple way to use branch etc as a method of tieing)
-Make cordage from natures offerings ( 2 meters of max.3 mm thin cord that will ast 5 kilos)
-make spoon, fork, butterknife from wood, use one knife and one crooked knife. They have to be pretty well finished and work too.
-make a KUKSA, that does not leak.
-Needle case from natural material, wood,bone, andler,leather etc, free design as long as it can be seen as traditional.
-Powder / salt horn.
-coffee pouch
-axe handle, also known as helve, and fit it into axe head.
-Bucksaw. Gather material from forest, and do it in forest. Attach a sawblade in it when its ready.
-Make a puukko knife, with "rat tail tang", you CAN use ready blade if you cant make one. Then, make a backseam sheath for it.
-do a whistle
-Bark box, with or without lid.
-Tuohilippi, a simple, birch bark,cone shaped drinking gadget, can be used as a spoon too. It has a wooden handle.
-Some other item from birch bark plate.
-2 other items from birch bark, use weawery tehcniue,just like in baskets and old bark bags.

-forging :
-a flint striker, knife blade, or similar useful item. No electric devices allowed, fabricate it as primitive way as possible.

-Make tar
-Tuohitökötti, which is like a birch-tar.
-make useful glue in the forest conditions, from natural materials.


First aid patch

-Get atleast First Aid One ( EA1) course done.
-Splinting of imagined bone fracture
-Dressing of imagined open wound with natural materials
-cleansing and sewing of cut, with stuff, from your poket sized survival kit (PSK)
-use of pine pitch
-identify atleast 10 medical/medicinal plants and use of those.
-make stretchers and transport a patient of 80 kilos, atleast 100 meters
-personal hygiene in outdoors, with natural materials, mouth hygiene,wiping your butt, cleaning yourself.

-Saving a person who went through ice, and save yourself from same situation, (spikes and rope)
-savig person from lake/water and saving yourself out from water (rope)
-treating hypothermia in outdoors conditions
-getting lost and handling it
-Search and rescue of lost prson. Tracking, observing, and arranging systematical search. (Normal hiking gear)


Survivor patch

-make a personal, pocket sized survival kit/tin, that ou really can carry at ALL times. AND REVIEW IT.
- Spend a night with that, as your only gear.

-Spend 7 days/6 nights in the forest. ONLY NATURES FOOD and NO factory/manmade portable shelters.
Allowed gear for the above is:
-wooden kuksa
-firesteel OR flintstone & steel and 10x10cm piece of horse shoe fungus tinder. In firesteel you can have 20cm lanyard.
-Half full Mini-Grip pouch of salt (size of pouch will be announced as there are many to choose from and we all will use same size)
-Half full Mini-Grip pouch of sugar
-10 meters of rope or cord, choose with care.
-10 meters of general fishing line and 2 hooks
-Metal container (free shape) with one(1) liter space, at the most, not more. THIS you CAN fill with stuff that you want,but NOT EDIBLES,NOT FIREMAKING STUFF,NOT FISHING GEAR,NO ELECTRIC DEVICES OF ANY TYPE.
So you can have, in exmple:
-donald duck pocket books
-alcohol drinks
-drill bit
-picture of mother
-space blanket


Identification of species - patch

-separate list, but very very big amount of animals,from wolves to snails,plants, fishes etc.

Rules of this TOUGH task are announced later.


Wilderness heritage & tradition patch

-Study traditional, Finnish outdoor/wilderness culture and proove that you did. No copy-paste stupidity. Go to library, loan a book, read and write, visit a museum or some target, take pictues and do a post of your studies.
-Study as well as possible, some free topic, of FINNISH wilderness culture. It may be of handcraft item, of trapping, of shelter type etc, and prepare to tella about it when asked to.It just might happen.
-Keep 2 different courses / lectures of some tradtitional topics. About Finnish wilderness related stuff, heavily on the heritage side, about history of stuff.